Mobility assessment task force to meet August 24

NE 65th and 15th Ave
Pedestrians crossing 15th Avenue NE into the Ravenna-Bryant neighborhood during morning rush hour. Photo courtesy of the Seattle City Council’s #Fix65th flickr album.

The Ravenna-Bryant Community Association’s Mobility Assessment Task Force will hold our final meeting on Wednesday, August 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Third Place. The meeting is open to all who live and work in Ravenna-Bryant who want to take action to improve pedestrian, bike, and motor vehicle safety in the community.

Concerns about driving, biking, and walking are commonly discussed during public meetings, private gatherings, and casual conversations with Ravenna-Bryant neighbors. To gain a better understanding about what the most pressing issues are, RBCA recently conducted an online survey asking neighbors to report concerns with getting around in the neighborhood.

The largest amount of comments were about pedestrian safety, followed by motor vehicle concerns and biking safety and infrastructure.

The most common complaint among all three mobility modes (walking, biking, driving) was people speeding in their cars along both arterial and residential streets. The second most common complaint was about how difficult it is to cross arterial roads and, interestingly enough, it wasn’t only pedestrians and bikers who identified this as a big problem. Motorists thought it was a problem, too.

NE 65th Street was the most commonly commented upon road.

  • Multiple survey respondents said that crossing NE 65th Street throughout the Ravenna-Bryant neighborhood is dangerous. Several people pointed out that many Eckstein Middle School students need to cross the street to get to school every day and that it is common that motorists don’t stop for them.
  • The other most common concern about NE 65th Street came from people who bike. They cited dangerous biking conditions between 15th Avenue NE and Roosevelt among their top concerns.
  • Other concerns about NE 65th Street included cars driving too close to the sidewalk; crosswalk ramps pointing into traffic when they should be pointing toward the opposite corner; slow pedestrian signal changes; no left turn arrows at most intersections; and lack of clarity about the number of traffic lanes – is NE 65th Street 2 lanes, 3 lanes, or 4 lanes?

Other concerns that were mentioned by multiple people include:

  • Difficult for motorists to see pedestrians on corners because cars are parked within 30 feet of the corner;
  • Heavy traffic on 25th Avenue NE;
  • Broken/uneven sidewalks;
  • No sidewalks in the area north and east of University Village;
  • No bike lanes on north-south arterial roads in Ravenna-Bryant;
  • Motorists don’t yield to pedestrians in both marked and unmarked crosswalks on NE 55th and NE 75th Streets;
  • No left turn arrow signals for motorists at most intersections of arterial roads.

All comments will be shared and reviewed during the August 24 task force meeting and an action plan will be completed. If you are interested in joining the meeting and committing to taking action to address mobility issues in Ravenna-Bryant, please leave a message on the Contact Us page or just show up!

Ravenna-Bryant neighbors invited to micro-community policing focus group August 9

This summer, the new Seattle Police Department North Precinct micro-community policing research assistant from Seattle University, Jessica Chandler, will be conducting focus groups to gain community input about public safety. She is interested in talking to all the micro-communities in the North Precinct area about knowledge of the Micro-Community Policing Plan, interactions with the Seattle Police Department, crime and safety concerns, and suggested improvements for each unique neighborhood. The focus groups are semi-structured and typically last one hour. The groups are open to anyone living or working in the specific neighborhoods.

The Roosevelt/Ravenna focus group will take place Tuesday August 9, 6:00-7:00pm at the Green Lake Public Library Branch (7364 E. Green Lake Dr. N.) For more information about the focus group, contact Jessica at Jessica.Chandler@seattle.gov.

If you haven’t already seen it, a section was added to the Micro-Community Policing Plan website that allows people to sort data according to neighborhood and type of crime. For example, a search for 2016 residential burglaries in the Roosevelt/Ravenna area shows that there were a total of 92 between January and June with the most in January (20) and the fewest in May (9).

MCPP data

Earlier this year, SPD recognized the Ravenna-Bryant area as a “hot spot” for home burglaries. The map below is part of the March 2 SeaStat report.

a hot spot map - burglaries 2016

Neighborhood associations partner to advocate for safer NE 65th Street

Over the last three years, 68 people were sent to the hospital and one person died after crashes on NE 65th Street between Ravenna Blvd and 35th Ave NE. Crashes injured pedestrians, bikers, and, most of all, motorists. It is with these numbers and with community members consistent and ongoing reports of near misses on NE 65th Street that the RBCA board and the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association board sent a letter to Mayor Murray, Councilmember Johnson, and Councilmember O’Brien requesting that the Seattle Department of Transportation fix the unsafe street.

fix65th map

Here is the letter:

Dear Mayor Murray and Councilmembers Johnson and O’Brien,

We work with and represent a community of more than 25,000 neighbors who reside near and along a stretch of NE 65th Street that is patently unsafe. NE 65th is not simply a neighborhood thoroughfare; it is vital to our two business districts, the city’s highest-use community center, multiple schools, a senior living facility, frequent bus transit and people who live, work, and play in NE Seattle. It is a critical path to and from Interstate-5, and the route into Magnuson Park, Northeast Seattle’s largest park. Unfortunately, it also includes one of the top ten most dangerous stretches of road in Seattle. Over the past three years alone between Ravenna Blvd and 35th Ave NE, 68 people have been sent to the hospital by collisions and one local father, Andy Hulslander, was killed as he biked home from work.

Poor street design has contributed directly to the tragically high rate of injuries along NE 65th Street. Sections of the road appear to be four lanes across; others, two. Missing left-turn lanes for vehicles cause “passing on the right” scenarios that endanger bicyclists, pedestrians and other drivers. Off-set street corners on much of 65th make it extremely difficult to cross, and vehicles most often fail to yield to people who are walking.

Seattle’s VisionZero efforts are laudable, but NE 65th Street fails that test. Safe Routes to School is making improvements for the safety of our children, but does not address NE 65th Street which runs right through our elementary, middle, and high school attendance areas. Roosevelt and Ravenna each have hundreds of new homes currently under development along 65th – people who will walk, take transit, ride bicycles, and drive along this stretch. The Roosevelt Light Rail station will open in 5 short years, multiplying street and sidewalk users in Roosevelt. Seattle 2035 identifies a 10-minute walk shed around the station with NE 65th bisecting it. Our Bicycle Master Plan implementation does not include any infrastructure improvements in northeast Seattle for the next five years. Recent Ravenna neighborhood surveys show more people would use alternative modes in the business district if they felt more safe doing so, and that speeds on 65th make it nearly impossible to cross safely.

This is entirely unacceptable and dangerous to the neighborhood residents and frequent users of NE 65th, and should be unacceptable to our public officials as well. We are not willing to stand idly by while neighbors continue to be hurt. The need for safe routes to and through our neighborhoods for all users has never been greater.

We are confident that the City of Seattle will be a thoughtful and deliberate partner in moving forward with a street redesign to significantly improve safety for all users.

The Roosevelt Neighborhood Association (RNA) and Ravenna Bryant Community Association (RBCA) formally request that Seattle Department of Transportation immediately fund and begin a study, and a comprehensive public process, to make safety improvements to NE 65th between 35th Avenue NE and NE Ravenna Blvd.

Specific concerns we want to see addressed along this corridor include:

  • Excessive speeding
  • Insufficient number of safe crossings
  • Long waits for walk signals
  • Driving lane orientation
  • Dangerous intersections
  • Unsafe sidewalks
  • Unsafe bicycle infrastructure
  • Insufficient parking

Thank you for the opportunity to voice our concerns about Northeast 65th Street. We look forward to accelerating these efforts and working in partnership with you as we implement a safer solution to this dangerous thoroughfare.

Respectfully,

Ravenna-Bryant Community Association

Roosevelt Neighborhood Association

Renew the Seattle Housing Levy August 2

BrettlerFamilyPlaceLarger
Brettler Family Place at Sand Point was built in part with Seattle Housing Levy funds. The current levy expires at the end of the year.

August 2 is the primary election and at the end of your ballot is Proposition 1, which will renew and expand the expiring Seattle Housing Levy. The RBCA board of directors endorsed this important affordable housing measure and we encourage you to vote YES when you mail in your ballot by August 2!

Seattle’s Housing Levy has a 35-year track record of success. It helped to produce and preserve of over 12,500 affordable rental homes for hospital workers, pre-school teachers, people working in retail and restaurants, and seniors and other people on fixed incomes, as well as supportive housing for people who are homeless. This new levy will produce or preserve at least 2,150 units of affordable housing. These homes are maintained affordable for at least 50 years after production ensuring our neighborhoods are affordable to all people who make our communities strong.

Since 2002, Seattle’s Housing Levy has also provided emergency rental assistance to 6,500 families, with additional services to help these families regain stability and avoid homelessness. It’s critical that we prevent homelessness before it starts and this new levy will provide emergency rental assistance for thousands more households.

The Mayor, all nine Seattle City Council members, and affordable housing advocates agree: expanding the levy is the right thing to do. That means hundreds of additional affordable homes for low-income seniors, people with disabilities, lower-wage workers and families with children.

Click here for a fact sheet outlining all the investment programs this Levy will support.

This new levy will cost the owner of a typical $480,000 home only $5 more per month.

Ballots were mailed yesterday. When you vote, remember to go to the end of the ballot and vote YES for Proposition 1, Seattle’s Housing Levy! Be sure to mail in or drop off your ballot by August 2 so Seattle can take a major step forward in addressing our housing affordability crisis by providing affordable homes for thousands of our fellow Seattleites!

This summer, learn about plans for guiding growth in our city

RavennaBlvdSewer
We’ve come a long way in the last century! This photo shows the Ravenna Blvd sewer construction in 1909. Be a part of public conversations about how our city grows in the future. (Photo thanks to History Link.)

During RBCA’s annual meeting in May, many Ravenna-Bryant neighbors said that they would like to see more affordable housing options in our community as the City starts implementing plans for increasing housing availability throughout Seattle. With rents rising and houses being sold for over asking prices, Ravenna-Bryant needs housing that is affordable for all.

On July 14 at noon, people can “lunch & learn” at City Hall about Seattle’s Equitable Development Implementation Plan. This joint meeting with the Land Use & Zoning Committee and Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development & Arts Committee will include a discussion of solutions to create access to opportunity in communities most impacted by the threat of displacement. The Equitable Development Implementation Plan also includes policies that would ensure increased affordable housing and housing assistance in high opportunity neighborhoods, like Ravenna-Bryant.

The Plan is part of Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan update which includes many land use and related policy proposals to guide our city’s growth through 2035. There are many chances for citizens to learn more and to weigh in on proposals. Visit Seattle 2035 to find out when and where they are. Don’t have time to attend meetings? Weigh in online!

Ravenna Park History Walk July 16

HistoryWalkandFieldGames_Half-01Join RBCA, King County In Motion, and Friends of Seattle’s Olmstead Park for a midday history walk and field game extravaganza! Learn the secrets of Ravenna and Cowen Parks with historian Jennifer Ott during a 30 minute walking tour. Afterwards, hop, jump, and toss your way through field games at Ravenna Park.

Meet near the play area off on NE 55th Street starting at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 16.

Join In Motion for “Ride To Rail!” Saturday July 9

ventoux
Neighborhood business Ventoux will co-host a local bike ride this weekend. Photo courtesy of the Ventoux Facebook page.

King County In Motion Ravenna-Bryant, Ventoux Coffee, and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways invite you enjoy a guided bike ride along the Burke-Gilman Trail and learn more about connecting to the UW Link Station and Matthews Beach on Saturday morning. Using your neighborhood greenways and bike paths, guides will lead two fun, family-friendly bike rides around your neighborhood:

  • a 6 mile roundtrip ride from Ventoux Coffee to the UW Light Rail Station.
  • a 11 mile roundtrip ride from Ventoux Coffee to the UW Light Rail Station and then to Matthews Beach.

Based on your skill level, preference, and interest you can choose which ride is right for you!

Register here. Meet at Ventoux Coffee (3404 NE 55th Street) at 10 AM on Saturday, July 9. Be sure to bring plenty of water, a helmet, and appropriate clothing.

This event will be led by Carlos Salmeron, owner of Ventoux Coffee and an avid cyclist; Andres Salomon, a neighborhood advocate from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways; and Carson Hartmann of the Ravenna-Bryant In Motion team. There will be complimentary coffee, a raffle drawing for a $25 gift card to Ventoux Coffee, as well as plenty of information about Metro, In Motion, bicycling, and more!

Do you live or work in Ravenna-Bryant and not already an In Motion participant? Sign up here!

RBCA board meets Tuesday

The RBCA board of directors meets Tuesday, July 5, 6:30 p.m., at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center playground. (The community center building will be closed. In case of rain, we will meet at Harissa.) The board does not meet in August.

Board meetings are open to the public. Everyone is welcome!

AGENDA

6:30                  Welcome & Introductions

6:35                   Board Reports

  • Secretary’s Report: Minutes
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Land Use Committee Report
  • Transportation Committee
    • In Motion event
    • #Fix65th Safety Walk
    • Mobility Assessment

7:05                    Sameer Ranade, candidate State Rep for 43rd District

7:10                    Learning more about proposed land use changes

  • Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA)
  • ADU/DADU
  • Updates
  • Policies for discussion during future board meetings

7:45                    Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center Funding

8:05                    Emergency Preparedness

8:15                    Reports from Associated Community Groups

  • Children’s Hospital Community Advisory Committee
  • City University Community Advisory Committee
  • North Precinct Advisory Council
  • Northeast District Council
  • Ravenna-Eckstein Advisory Council

8:25                    Announcements

Ravenna-Bryant neighbors demand a safer NE 65th Street

fix65th
Councilmember Rob Johnson spoke to about 60 people who walked on NE 65th on June 16 demanding a safer street for all. Photo from Fix 65th Facebook page.

“The Seattle DOT signs saying “Stop for pedestrians” placed at random locations along NE 65th are confusing for car drivers (car drivers really shouldn’t stop for jay-walkers) and create a dangerous situation for pedestrians who think that cars will stop.”*

“Cars speeding at all hours of the day on 25th Ave NE between 65th and 55th. (especially during commute hours).”

“Narrow sidewalks close to traffic on 65th.”

Cars consistently encroach upon crosswalk at NE 65th and 15th Ave NE.”

“Crossing NE 65th to get to Eckstein middle school is difficult and dangerous for children trying to get to school (and bus riders). Cars are going fast and don’t stop.”

“The slow change for pedestrian signals on NE 65th at Ravenna and 20th, the speed of traffic – cars don’t stop.”

“Walking across NE 65th is dangerous most of the time. Especially the intersections between 20th and 25th. Parked cars along 65th block views of drivers and peds and no one seems to remember that peds have right of way once they step into the street.”

These are just a few of the comments about NE 65th Street made by community members who recently took RBCA’s mobility assessment survey. Similar comments were made by Ravenna-Bryant and Roosevelt neighbors who marched on June 16 to raise awareness about the many motorists, bikers, and pedestrians who have been sent to the hospital after being involved in collisions on NE 65th Street. A Fix 65th coalition formed to further push for changes and is now circulating a petition asking SDOT to start the process soon.

The RBCA’s Mobility Assessment Task Force will wrap up assessment activities this summer and develop an action plan for addressing pedestrian, bike, and motor vehicle safety problems in our community, including NE 65th Street. Interested in being a part of the solution? Contact RBCA or attend the July 5 board meeting to learn more.

——-

*Seattle Pedestrian Law includes information about when motorists are required to stop for pedestrians.

June 21 public hearing on mandatory housing affordability program

Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA), part of the Mayor’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA), was discussed during the May RBCA annual meeting and during this week’s RBCA board meeting. On Tuesday, June 21 at 9:30 a.m., the City Council will hold a public hearing about MHA for residential development.

Under the MHA-R program, new multi-family residential development would be required to provide affordable units (performance) or make an in-lieu payment.  The MHA-R program will be implemented as increases in residential development capacity are approved.  Among other things, the proposed ordinance would: 

·           Establish the Council’s intent as to implementation of the MHA-R program;

·           Establish the applicability of and exemptions from the program;

·           Establish requirements for units provided through performance; and

·           Establish procedures for seeking modifications to program requirements. 

Written Comments may be sent to:  Councilmember Rob Johnson, Legislative Department, 600 Fourth Avenue, Floor 2, P.O. Box 34025, Seattle, WA  98124-4025 or by email to rob.johnson@seattle.gov.   Written comments should be received by Monday, June 20 at 12 p.m. 

Electronic copies of the proposed ordinance are available through the Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee’s webpage, http://www.seattle.gov/council/committees/planning-land-use-and-zoning.

RBCA board meeting to focus on housing levy, mandatory housing affordability

Meeting Notice:

Ravenna-Bryant Community Association Board Meeting

June 7, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Ravenna Eckstein Community Center

RBCA Vision: Ravenna-Bryant is a welcoming, thriving, safe, diverse, and connected neighborhood. 

Agenda

Committee Reports

  • Secretary’s Report: Minutes
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Land Use Committee Report
  • Transportation Committee Report

Seattle ARCH

HALA/Annual Meeting Follow-Up

University of Washington Seattle Campus Master Plan

Reports from Associated Community Groups

  • Children’s Hospital Community Advisory Committee
  • City University Community Advisory Committee
  • North Precinct Advisory Council
  • Northeast District Council
  • Ravenna-Eckstein Advisory Council

RBCA board meetings are open to all! Everyone is welcome.

June 27 public hearing about Seattle Comprehensive Plan Update

The Seattle City Council is considering amendments to the Seattle Comprehensive Plan and the City’s Land Use Code to implement the Mayor’s Recommended Comprehensive Plan, known as Seattle 2035. The proposed amendments are available at 2035.seattle.gov or seattle.legistar.com (search for Council Bill 118683). The Comprehensive Plan guides land use throughout Seattle.

The Mayor’s Recommended Plan proposes to significantly rewrite the Seattle Comprehensive Plan. Some of the changes proposed are:

  • Include a growth strategy to distribute the City’s share of growth allocated by the King County Growth Management Planning Council, which is 70,000 new housing units and 115,000 new jobs by 2035 by allocating growth estimates to urban villages throughout the City. The recommended growth strategy calls for continued growth in urban centers and urban villages with particular emphasis on centers and the villages with very good transit service.
  • Emphasize Race and Social Equity as a core value of the Comprehensive Plan, implementing Resolution 31577.
  • Change the way urban centers and urban villages are depicted on the Future Land Use Map, identify a potential future urban village at N. 130th Street at Interstate 5 and allow for potential future expansions of urban villages near frequent transit.
  • Identify appropriate scales and densities within different types expected in each category of urban center and village.
  • Add a section about transportation safety.
  • Add policies supporting fair housing and seeking to overcome historic patterns of segregation.
  • Create a new Parks and Open Space Element. Remove numeric goals for open space amenities. Recognize the importance of public open spaces that are not City-owned parks.
  • Simplify the Neighborhood Planning element, removing policies that specify how neighborhood plans should be prepared. No changes are proposed to any neighborhood plan.
FLUM April 2016
Mayor’s Future Land Use Map, April 2016

Additional information regarding the scope of changes and a comparison of the existing and proposed Comprehensive Plan is available in the “Directors Report” available at 2035.seattle.gov.

Public Hearing

The City Council’s Planning, Land Use and Zoning (PLUZ) Committee will hold a public hearing to take comments on the Mayor’s Recommended Plan on June 27, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. The hearing will be held in the Seattle City Council Chambers at City Hall: 600 Fourth Avenue, 2nd Floor, Seattle, WA 98104.

For those who wish to testify, sign-up sheets will be available outside of Council Chambers starting at 5:30 p.m. Childcare will be provided.

Written Comments

Written comments on the proposal will be accepted through 5:00 p.m. on June 27. Please send comments to Amy Gore in Councilmember Rob Johnson’s office via e-mail at: amy.gore@seattle.gov.

Funds available to support Night Out 2016 activities

NightOut_logoIf your block plans to participate in this year’s Annual Night Out on August 2, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods has funds to support your event.

The Small Sparks Fund provides funding for neighborhood-initiated projects that promote community engagement and relationship building. Groups can request up to $1,000 to help fund Night Out activities such as outreach materials, cultural entertainment, music, food, and kids’ activities, to name a few. The deadline for applications is Friday, July 1 and you must register first with the Department of Neighborhoods.

More information about the Small Sparks Fund is available online. It is open to applicants year-round for such activities as block parties, neighborhood sports tournaments, community picnics, and emergency preparedness training, to name a few.

Night Out is a national crime prevention event designed to heighten crime prevention awareness, increase neighborhood support in anti-crime efforts, and unite communities.

City Light & Councilmember Johnson co-host outreach meeting on Wednesday

city light
Photo courtesy of Seattle City Light

City Light and District 4 Councilmember Rob Johnson are co-hosting a City Light Strategic Business Plan Outreach Meeting on Wednesday, May 25, 6:30 to 7:45 p.m., at Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center, 6535 Ravenna Ave NE.

City Light staff will provide a short presentation on the electric utility’s strategic investments, budget, and rate proposal for 2017-18 followed by a Q&A session. Applications will be available for the Utility Discount Program in addition to information about the solar and conservation programs and customer rebates.

City Light’s first strategic plan was approved by the City Council in 2012 and is updated every two years.

More information is available online. Unable to make the meeting but want to provide City Light with input about future electric service? Take their survey, also available online.

In Motion encourages Ravenna-Bryant to explore healthier transportation options

Yoin motionu may have received a packet in the mail or visited the In Motion table at last night’s RBCA annual meeting. So, what is the campaign all about?

Metro Transit’s In Motion program is asking Ravenna-Bryant community members to pledge to drive less. By taking part in the program, residents can find more ways to give their car a break and explore healthier transportation options available in Ravenna-Bryant.

If you take the pledge by August 7, you can get an ORCA card good for two weeks of unlimited travel. After signing up, program participants will be entered in weekly drawings for gift cards to local businesses.

Ravenna-Bryant was chosen, along with Capitol Hill, for the In Motion program because of the recent opening of the Link light rail extension serving our neighborhoods. Since 2004, In Motion has provided 36 King County neighborhoods and communities with tools and information about how residents can explore healthier travel options.

in motion map
This In Motion map for Ravenna-Bryant is available online and was included in the program’s recent mailing.

Will HALA increase access to opportunities for more community members?

During their May 3 meeting, the City Council’s Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee was briefed about Equity in the Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan and the Equitable Development Implementation Plan. Policies contained in the Mayor’s Housing Affordability & Livability Agenda (HALA) are part of the City’s plan for creating equity in Seattle. Learn more about HALA during RBCA’s upcoming annual meeting.

RBCA Annual Meeting

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

6:30-8:30PM

Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center

How equitable is Seattle right now? When developing the drafted Comprehensive Plan update, access to opportunity was considered in all areas of our city. Access to opportunity includes things that contribute to social, economic, and physical well-being. As is shown in the map below, the Ravenna-Bryant neighborhood is identified as a neighborhood that has average to high access to opportunity.

Equity Analysis Seattle 2035

The May 3 committee meeting presentation indicates that the City’s equity goals include increasing opportunity in neighborhoods that are currently considered areas of low opportunity and increasing housing choices in neighborhoods currently considered areas of high opportunity.

A recent article in the Seattle Times reports that living in a low income community is among the aspects of poverty that are particularly damaging and can be addressed by public policy. In addition to addressing low family income and poor education, which are also among the aspects identified, local policy can impact where people live.

The roots of current equity disparities in our city may be found when reviewing local history that included severe segregation policies. For instance, from the 1910s through the 1960s, many Seattle neighborhoods, including Ravenna-Bryant, practiced overt racial exclusion through land use covenants. To this day, communities are still working to right the wrongs of the past and create equity throughout the city. Now that we are coming to terms with past policies that created segregation and contributed to poverty, and now that we can identify the factors contributing to continued poverty, we have the opportunity to establish new policies that can reduce disparities and increase equity in our city.

Speeding cars a common complaint among Ravenna-Bryant walkers, bikers, and drivers

speed limit 30Speeding cars and difficulties crossing arterial streets are common mobility complaints from Ravenna-Bryant community members no matter if they are walking, biking, or driving a motor vehicle, according to preliminary results from an RBCA survey.

Earlier this year, RBCA formed a Mobility Assessment Task Force to identify neighborhood mobility-related problems and develop an action plan for addressing them. The need to proactively address problems became evident when mobility-related problems consistently were brought up during community meetings related to land use, public safety, and most proposed changes in Ravenna-Bryant.

Among survey responses, the most common (52%) were about walking, 23% about driving, and 17% about biking. Crossing all arterial streets was the primary concern specifically because cars are often speeding and because cars are parked too close to corners making it difficult to see oncoming traffic. For pedestrians, cars often do not yield to them when they are crossing streets and crosswalk lights are slow to change at 20th Avenue NE and in front of Assumption-St. Bridget School.

Not surprisingly, problems related to NE 65th Street predominate survey results, no matter the mobility mode. Crossing NE 65th Street is particularly difficult when drivers use it as a four lane road. Pedestrians report getting stuck halfway across when cars in one direction stop and cars traveling in the other direction do not. The corner of NE 65th Street and 15th Avenue NE is identified as particularly dangerous for a variety of reasons. Considering the Roosevelt light rail station will open in 5 years just a few blocks from this intersection, safety problems are especially concerning.

tweet - greenways - 65th
April 29 tweet from NE Seattle Greenways about the unsafe intersection at NE 65th Street and 15th Avenue NE. At the corner to the east of where this photo was taken stands a ghost bike in memory of Andy Hulslander who was killed here while biking home from work.

Both drivers and bikers identify traffic congestion and speeding motor vehicle drivers as common concerns. While bikers identify a lack of bicycle safety infrastructure as a problem, drivers commonly identify backed up traffic behind left-turning cars and at traffic signals.

The Mobility Assessment Task Force will complete our work this summer. The next meeting will be held in June with the date yet to be determined. If you are interested in being a part of the task force or RBCA’s Transportation Committee, please contact us.

Housing Levy to be on August ballot: Learn more May 17 at RBCA’s annual meeting

BrettlerFamilyPlaceLarger
Brettler Family Place at Sand Point Naval Station was built in part with Seattle Housing Levy funds. The current levy expires at the end of the year.

The Seattle City Council yesterday unanimously voted to include a $290 million Housing Levy on the August 2, 2016 Primary Election ballot. The levy proposal focuses on increasing affordable housing production and preservation, supporting homelessness prevention, and fostering home ownership for low-income residents.

The levy is part of the Mayor’s Housing Affordability & Livability Agenda (HALA) which will be the focus of RBCA’s upcoming annual meeting. Join us and learn more about the levy and other HALA policy proposals.

 

RBCA Annual Meeting

Focus: HALA

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

6:30-8:30PM

Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center

More housing & businesses along NE 65th Street?

Most Ravenna-Bryant residents are comfortable with more development along NE 65th Street, according to a 2013 survey conducted by RBCA. Will the Mayor’s Housing Affordability & Livability Agenda (HALA) set the stage for increased development on NE 65th Street? Attend the RBCA’s annual meeting and find out.

RBCA Annual Meeting

Topic: HALA

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

6:30-8:30 p.m.

Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center

More about that survey . . .

Of the 610 residents who took the survey,  most agreed that traffic congestion is their biggest concern.  People also agreed that the community needs better pedestrian and bike safety features; to work with developers to ensure neighborhood-friendly development; and ensure parking spaces are included with property development.  Many people who reported being comfortable with more development stated that they want to discourage automobile usage while people who reported not being comfortable with more development were more likely to be concerned with the loss of parking.

The biggest concerns among the 64% of Ravenna-Bryant residents who indicated that they are comfortable with more development were:

  1. Traffic/congestion*
  2. Pedestrian and bike safety
  3. Driving should not be encouraged.
  • Need to cater to modes of transportation other than cars
  • Limit parking so people will choose other modes of getting around.
  • Need for bike lanes/walking amenities/better streetscape
  1. Need for better transit
  2. Ugly, cheap apartments/development/businesses/townhomes
  3. Parking should be included with development, parking on side streets
  4. Buildings shouldn’t be too tall
  5. Businesses need to cater to neighborhood residents
  6. Property value
  7. Density/crowding
  8. Noise
  9. Crime/vandalism
  10. More retail needed, reduce vacant businesses, keep retail west of 25th and east of 20th
  11. Transit/bike/pedestrian safety around light rail station
  12. Bike lanes inappropriately placed
  13. Losing “hole in the wall” charm of some buildings
  14. Increased rent
  15. Decreased livability
  16. Prevent removal of trees

The biggest concerns among the 29% who said they are not comfortable with more development along NE 65th Street were:

  1. Traffic/congestion
  2. Increased crime
  3. Adding to already over-crowded schools
  4. Loss of parking
  5. Pedestrian and bike safety
  • especially with increased congestion
  • especially for students in neighborhood schools
  1. Lack of appropriate planning
  • “City does not listen to neighbors or neighborhood.”
  • “I don’t want Ravenna Bryant to become condo-ville like Ballard.”
  • Lack of green space
  1. Increased density
  2. Bike lanes should not be developed on NE 65th Street
  3. Noise
  4. Need for increased police, fire, bus and other services
  5. Property values
  6. Eliminating single family houses
  7. Increased rental costs
  8. Undesirable businesses

*Italicized answers indicate issues of common concern  among those in favor of more development and those not in favor of more development.

May 17 RBCA Annual Meeting to focus on HALA

Yesterday, Mayor Ed Murray unveiled his proposal to enact a residential Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA-R) program which will require that new multifamily residential development in Seattle contribute to affordable housing, either with affordable homes in the building or payments to help construct them throughout the city.

MHA map
Map of Mayor’s proposed Affordable Housing Program Areas included in his Housing Affordability & Livability Agenda (HALA)

This map shows the areas in north Seattle to which the program could apply, including the area around University Village and NE 55th Street. (See our previous post about NE 55th Street for information about how it is zoned.)

Additional information about MHA-R is included in a Director’s Report and the full text of the proposed ordinance.

HALA contains many policy proposals, including MHA-R. Community members are invited to learn more about HALA and other land use issues affecting Ravenna-Bryant during our upcoming annual meeting. City staff will be on hand to discuss HALA policies and answer your questions.

 

RBCA Annual Meeting

Topic: The Mayor’s Affordability & Livability Agenda (HALA)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center